Kyiv, April 15, 2014 – Petro Mehed, Deputy Minister of Defence of Ukraine, during a media briefing at the Ukrainian Crisis Media Center said: “Today’s agenda has put a strategic task of high priority – that is to rearm Ukrainian armed forces as in recent years our army has been systematically destroyed and disarmed, and its best personnel dismissed. Numerous conflicts that are taking place in the 21st century have shown that a modern country cannot exist without a modern army. Since the beginning of the aggression against our country and the occupation of Crimea we have actually been rebuilding our army.”
According to Mr. Mehed, Ukrainian companies are capable of providing the army with high-quality weapons. Thus recently, the state leaders have been acquainted with the latest military developments, in particular, with combat capacities of the tanks “Bulat” and “Oplot” and those of APC-3E1 and APC-4.
According to the Deputy Minister, due to the situation in Crimea and on the East, actions have been taken in Ukrainian armed forces to improve mobilization readiness and accelerate military equipment provisions under partial mobilization. 23 regional military commissariats and their subordinate district and city military commissariats have been engaged into mobilization.
At present partial mobilization is carried out within the plan, and 90% mobilization from almost all regions of Ukraine has been accomplished to selected military units. The issue of financial support of the mobilized soldiers will be resolved till April 18 with the means of the reserve fund of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.
Mr. Mehed has noted that heads of regions are working closely with military commanders to provide military garrisons with everything necessary for life and to prepare them for the service and military training grounds – for combat trainings.
The Deputy Minister thanked the concerned citizens and corporate entities for their assistance through the charitable action “Support the Ukrainian Army.” He said that as of April 12, more than 98 million and 600 thousand UAH were received on the accounts of the Ministry of Defence out of which 93 million and 455 thousand UAH was transferred for the purpose of logistic support and the remaining amount – for the health care of Ukrainian armed forces. Just through the phone call and sms channel on the single mobile number 565, 23 million and 970 thousand UAH were received from the population.
According to Mr. Mehed, funds amounting to 60 million will be used primarily for the purchase of the most necessary items – bullet-proof vests, sleeping bags, isolating mats, camouflage nets, communication tools and components. These funds are being used in accordance with the Law of Ukraine “On economic operations in the Armed Forces of Ukraine”, with the Law of Ukraine “On Public Procurement” and with the Order of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine from 10.10.2013 № 689 “On the approval of the Regulation on bookkeeping and use of the state budget’s special fund in the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.”
Besides that, one of the priorities of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine is the withdrawal of troops and their families from the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and ensuring their settlement on Ukraine’s mainland: “As of today, by 7:00 am – Mr. Mehed stated – altogether 3356 people have passed through collection posts and have currently been settled in Kyiv, Zaporizhzhya, Odesa and Mykolaiv military garrisons.” He added that 336 of military personnel had been appointed to new positions.
The main issues that arise during relocation of military personnel and their families on Ukrainian mainland territory are social benefits, residence registration, customs clearance for humanitarian shipments, simplification of employment procedures, allowances through employment centres and paying of accommodation costs. These expenses will be covered by the local authorities’ budgets and partly by the state budget of Ukraine, whilst the cost of placing soldiers in military units and garrisons will be covered by the funds of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine.
The critical issue is the withdrawal of military equipment left in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. Mr. Vladyslav Seleznev, head of the Crimean Regional Media Centre of the Ministry of Defence of Ukraine, noted: “Today all conditions are at hand to withdraw Ukrainian military equipment from Crimea, yet Russian troops just do not give back the equipment which is of interest to them.”